By Paul Winkelmann
Try to recall, way back when, how the White House was going
to be transformed from Clinton's den of iniquity into Bush's
moral beacon for all of mankind - in part, by forcing its
visitors and employees to don ties. This was just one of many
silly gestures that was designed to separate the moral Republicans
from the evil and immoral former residents. Yep, as I can
clearly see from most photo-ops, the ties remain - but have
the morals really changed?
I thought White House spokesman Ari Fleischer's bulging neck
veins were going to stretch out his tie when he falsely accused
the previous administration of vandalizing Air Force One and
the White House. He later backpedalled on the accusations,
but refused to positively admit the allegations were really
outright lies. Although his tie looked freshly pressed, as
he dodged this retraction.
I saw Dick Cheney, and his tie, leaving a secret meeting
with Dick's favorite campaign donors from the oil, gas, and
electricity companies, after they scripted our nation's energy
policy. I think he was wearing a completely different tie
when he illegally refused the GAO's request for that little
get-together's guest list.
I saw Bush's Chief of Staff Andrew Card wearing a power tie
while explaining why it was okay for him to clandestinely
meet with executives and lobbyists from a company he owns
stock in, and whose company is greatly affected by our president's
policies. I heard rumor that most of the attendees to this
secret meeting liked wearing their ties.
Ties at the White House were blowing every which way, on
gusts of hot air, when Bush flip-flopped or backpedalled on
ANWR, off-shore oil wells near Florida, CO2 emissions, trade
with China, protecting Taiwan, government union contracts,
spending the Social Security trust fund, etc. Wasn't it a
red striped tie Bush was wearing when he accused Clinton/Gore
of not keeping their word?
And when the airlines received the good news that they were
going to get a big hand out from Bush, airline execs promised
to freeze their salaries enough so that they wouldn't be able
to buy ties - for a couple of minutes at least. Even as many
of their now jobless employees were trying to figure out how
to make nooses out of their ties.
I have to admit, I haven't heard of any sex-related tie episodes
in the Oval Office, but then again, there hasn't been a multi-million
dollar investigation into whether this has happened or not.
I'll send Kenneth Starr a brand new necktie myself if this
ever comes to pass.